• Tue. Jun 6th, 2023

Disney is apparently interested in indie devs using its IP


Jun 17, 2021

The Walt Disney Corporation’s Games division is apparently signaling that it’s open licensing its characters and settings to a broader group of game developers.

In a conversation with IGN’s Rebekah Valentine, Disney SVP of Walt Disney Games Sean Shoptaw & VP of Disney & Pixar Games Luigi Priore dropped some tantalizing comments both about unannounced upcoming titles, but also what kinds of developers the company is open to partnering with in the coming years.

Their comments seem to indicate the company is actively interested in fielding pitches from indie developers to make games using its characters, alongside larger triple-A licensors like Ubisoft and Electronic Arts.

Speaking to IGN, Shoptaw stated that  the company is “very open to quality regardless of size,” and “if they’re strong indie that has a real passion and a vision for a story of ours, or a character or ours, or anything in our universe, we are all ears.” (Mickey Mouse pun probably not intentional.)

After IGN posted its conversation with the pair, vice president John T. Drake (in the most indie developer fashion possible) tweeted the article out and wrote “always open to chatting with friends from across the industry!”

Disney’s licensed game properties stole some of the spotlight at E3 this weekend, at Ubisoft debuted its open-world game based off James Cameron’s Avatar (originally owned by Fox, now by Disney), while Sea of Thieves developer Rare debuted its Pirates of the Caribbean tie-in for its open-world pirate game.

It’s not entirely clear from the Disney execs’ comments what size indie they’re interested in working with— there’s obviously a wide difference in scale between companies like Klei Entertainment or Supergiant Games, and smaller indie studios like Four Quarter Team or Ska Studios.

….That said, if you’re reading this and want to pitch Disney on any moody medieval games, The Black Cauldron is right there go, pitch them, do it.

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